Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Portimão Week 2


This week was great! We had a lot of great lessons with some of our investigators. It was so much fun! We also went to the beach for P day! Not much happened, this week passed by really fast and I can't really remember what happened. But here are some fun pictures to enjoy!

Pedro, who is one of the most incredible people I've met. He's grown and changed so much in the short time we've known him.

Hanging out at the Castles!

We found a  sea star!! Reminded me of playing on the beach in Oregon as a kid!

Sister Ellsworth loves sea shells!

We got here early before all of the tourists got there.

Portugal is the best mission ever!

Sister Ellsworth

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bemvindos ao Portimão


This week has been such an adventure, filled with lots of travel time, miracles, and the works! On Sunday night we got our transfer calls and I was reassigned to Portimão to serve with Sister Aiono! I was super excited to get to know a new area!!

Monday we packed our bags, cleaned, and said goodbye to some of my favorite people in Barreiro. It was so hard! I was able to see all but one of my recent converts. Fabiana and Alda were so sweet and Amaral almost made me cry. He told me about the difference he felt in his life because of the things that I had done for him. It made me remember how hard we worked to teach him and to help him adjust to life as a loyal member. He bore his sweet, simple testimony to me and I felt like every rejection and slammed door was 10000X worth it and I would do it all over again just to find someone like Amaral again. 

On Tuesday I rode the bus down to Portimão with two Elders to meet up with Sister Aiono, The bus ride was so long but it was glorious because I had my first nap in months. We didn't get to our area until really late at night so I had a quick tour of the chapel here and went home. The next day we visited some investigators and toured the area doing contacts and visiting members. That night we went back to Lisbon on the same bus to go to a meeting for leaders in the Mission, since Sister Aiono is a Sister Training Leader. We spent most of the day in Lisbon and came back to our area really late at night. The next day we worked our area some more! 

On Saturday we went to Faro for Zone conference and learned a lot about how we can better our teaching. There were some members of Faro there and they pretended to be investigators and we taught them all of the lessons. We had some really powerful lessons that really strengthened my confidence in our teaching. On Sunday we had church and I taught Sunday School by myself! It was so nerve wracking but nobody apostatized so I guess it was good! Haha!

Everything has been super great and I'm happy!

Sister Oliver and I!

Sister Oliver, Amaral, and I! The first 10 pictures he refused to smile... This was the best one we got XD

Sister Aiono, Vitor (recent convert) and I! Vitor is actually really funny! He's a happy person I swear!

​here's a video of the view from our apartment! We live on the 9th floor....

I hope you guys have a great week!

Sister Ellsworth

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A Baptism and Transfers! I'm going to Portimau!

Bom Dia!

This week has been awesome!! Our friend Fabiana was baptized! She's Alda's grandaughter, who was baptized a few months ago. She's been absolutely awesome to work with and she has such a strong and pure testimony. I absolutely loved to teach her about the great plan that Heavenly Father has for her. 

And I'm being transfered to Portimau to serve with Sister Aiono! I already know her, she served in the area next to me and we lived in the same house my first transfer. She's so fun and I'm excited to learn a lot from her. I'm nervous to move on to another area but at least it's in the best part of Portugal!! I'm sad to leave Sister Oliver because she's been such a great friend and example to me. She's going to be training a new greenie here and I'm super excited for her.

One of the best things that happened this week was a little lesson we had with Fredy, our friend who is going to be baptized next week. We finished teaching him all of the lessons and we wanted him to come to a resolve on his own to be baptized. After the first hour of church on Sunday we pulled him into a room and began to just talk about everything. I was very nervous that he was going to tell us that he didn't want to be baptized anymore but instead he began to share his experiences of his prayers to know the truth and the happiness he felt with the new knowledge that he had. In that moment, all the work and frustrations we had gone through with him were redeemed as he bore his little and simple testimony that the Book of Mormon was truely another witness of Jesus Christ and that though Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ reestablished his church on the earth again. Fredy's going to be baptized next weekend :)

I aboslutely love this area and the people here! I love my mission. It's the best thing I've ever chosen to do. I feel like I've learned so much and really come to know who I am and why I'm here. 

Love all of you guys lots!! 
Sister Ellsworth
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Ternas Misericordiosas

This week was pretty normal. We did a  lot of looking for new investigators. I think we knocked well over 1000 doors easy.  We talked to hundreds of people and found a  couple of people that look like they have some potential. Mainly we're preparing two of our investigators for baptism at the end of this week so that's been our main focus. We did have a couple of miracles this week though! I think my favorite was having a little conversation with Fabiana, who is 14 and is the kind of girl who is so sweet and a little sassy (but everyone in Portugal is a little sassy) but hasn't had many friends. I was talking to her and she told me she was so excited for her baptism but was really nervous. I asked her why and she said something along the lines of "I want to be like you guys with lots of faith and love for everyone. You guys are such good friends to me and I'm going to miss you so much." I smiled at her and gave her a little hug and told her that she could do anything she wanted. I also told her that even big spirit giants like missionaries get scared and nervous all the time. We are always so worried about our investigators and recent converts. We are always gritting our teeth behind a smile when someone says mean things. And we are just as anxious about working with members as they are to work with us. Fabiana smiled a bit and said "I never knew that you guys were real people." I laughed and said "Yep. We are as real and imperfect as everyone else. The only difference is that we've chosen to give up our lives in the service of Heavenly Father." It was a special experience with her :)

Another little miracle that happened was that all of our investigators came to church this week! WHOOOOO! For any of you that haven't served a mission before, this is darn near impossible. We worked really hard to make sure that each person understood the importance of church. Church and scripture study aren't just things that are really nice to do. The little things really do make a difference! It's been so awesome to work with the people here!

A really sad thing happened this week... I lost my agenda. It's not super devastating, especially for the last week of the transfer, but we lots some appointments and contacts. Poop. I'm pretty sure some weirdo found it on the bus or something. I feel like a greenie again! Haha I don't know what we're doing most of the time and my  companion is the one writing all of our appointments and contacts. Oh well.... Tudo bem!

Sorry I don't have any pictures or many things to say. Next week!

Com Amor,
Sister Bellsprout

P.S. one of our investigators can't say Ellsworth so he named me Sister Bellsprout... "like the pokemon...." 

Close enough. 

Happy New Year!

Hello ya'll! And a happy New Year!

This week was slow but progressive and that's all we want! Haha any sort of progress is good! Amaral has been amazing these past two weeks. He's been bringing family to church activites and sends us messages every once in a while asking if we need help teaching or to say that he absolutely loves his new life as a member of the Church. He humbly received the preisthood on Sunday and is preparing to help with the baptism of his cousin, Jenny. It has been so rewarding to see him take this new life in a stride!

New years eve was so much fun! We met witha lot of members and the whole world was going crazy with Quisomba (african music) and banging pots and pans. We actually stayed out until 10pm since our president didn't request that we return home early so we saw all sorts of crazy things! I think the best part is we were walking home and something smelled kinda funny. Our whole area smells strange but it smelled like food and burning plastic. We rounded a corner and there was this big trash can that was on fire with firefighters trying to put it out. We sat and watched the barbague for a bit before heading home. 

Fabiana was finally marked for baptism! Should be towards the end of January! She's progressing so well. When I was 14 I didn't have a clue of what was going on with religion but she's definately a special soul. She loves that activities and other youth in the ward. 

Here's a video of what happens on New years eve in Portugal!!
Love all of you!

Sister Ellsworth